If you’re wondering if you should seek medical attention for car accident injuries, the answer is always yes. After a car accident, you may not realize that you’re injured or recognize the symptoms of your injuries right away. If you delay or forgo medical treatment, your injuries could potentially grow worse or increase the time it takes you to recover.
Here, we’ll explore when, where, and why you should seek medical treatment after any car accident, serious or minor. Let’s get right to it!
Why You Should Seek Medical Treatment After Any Car Accident
You know how after anything frightening, like losing your footing on a stair or tripping, you feel an intense sensation? This is because your body has released adrenaline and endorphins as a part of its survival reaction. The same thing happens after a car accident—your nervous system is kicking in to protect you.
However, these hormones can also mask the symptoms of injuries and cloud your judgment. You might feel alright, but could be harboring a more serious injury like whiplash or a concussion. It’s for this reason that anyone who has been in a car accident should seek medical attention, even if they don’t have an obvious injury.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries That Don’t Show Up Right Away?
Many car accident injuries aren’t noticeable right away. You might not be bleeding or have a broken bone, but you could still have sustained an injury that needs to be treated by a medical professional. Some of the most common injuries like this include:
- Back, spine, and neck injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries like sprains and strains
While broken bones and severe lacerations are serious injuries that clearly require immediate attention, some severe injuries can slip under the radar. Examples of these injuries include:
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Injuries to internal organs
How Long Does it Take for Injuries to Show Up After a Car Accident?
Most injuries will be immediately noticeable. However, as we’ve said, your body will release endorphins and adrenaline into your body in the aftermath of the accident, and these hormones can mask smaller injuries.
As a result, you could notice injuries and symptoms developing the next day, the next week, or even several weeks after your accident.
Being fully checked out by a physician is important because it may catch symptoms that aren’t easily spotted by those of us outside the medical profession. For example, slow internal bleeding could be easily mistaken for a variety of other minor symptoms, but in reality it’s a serious condition requiring urgent medical attention.
What Kind of Medical Specialist Should I See After a Car Accident?
There are no hard-and-fast rules about what type of medical specialist you should see or where you should go after sustaining an injury in a car crash, but you’ll usually be able to tell what’s needed for your situation.
- If you have a serious injury like severe bleeding, a major broken bone, or a TBI, go to the emergency room right away.
- If your injury isn’t severe, see a primary care physician or go to an urgent care clinic. ERs have limited time and resources, so they won’t see you right away if your injuries aren’t severe. Plus, you’ll need to pay significantly more than you would at an urgent care or primary care clinic.
- Regardless of where you’re treated, your care team may refer you to another specialist like a physiotherapist, a chiropractor, or a massage therapist to continue your recovery process.
Always Seek Medical Attention After a Car Crash
You should always seek medical attention after a car crash. In the event of a serious injury, seek emergency care without delay. However, even minor crashes that leave you with no noticeable injuries warrant medical attention. Yes, seeing a doctor or urgent care clinician can add to an already-stressful situation, but delaying or avoiding medical care is never worth the risk, as some serious injuries might not be immediately observable.
Don’t let the cost of medical care deter you from proactively seeking medical attention following a car crash. A personal injury attorney can help you recover damages from the liable party to pay for your medical expenses, cover lost wages while you heal, and account for the pain and suffering that your injuries caused you and your family.
Pasternak and Zirgibel Can Help You Recover Financially
Frank Pasternak and Jeff Zirgibel are dedicated personal injury attorneys who will personally fight for your rights after a car crash. Pasternak and Zirgibel always work on contingency, so you’ll never pay a dime unless you win your case.
If you’ve been in a car crash, make sure you’re able to recover financially as well as physically. To start the process of holding those responsible for your injuries accountable, schedule a free case evaluation with Pasternak and Zirgibel today.
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